What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is certainly a unique way to maintain healthy teeth and gums and also remove bacteria that can cause damage. It’s been a long journey but oil pulling is growing increasingly popular in the United States. Originally used in Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling proves to be a wonderful way to achieve oral detoxification. Swishing a tablespoon of oil, be it coconut oil, sesame oil, or olive oil, for 10-20 minutes works miracles for your oral health.

Coconut oil for teeth whitening

Oil pulling detoxifies the oral cavity just how soap removes debris and grease from dirty dishes. Oil pulling acts by pulling toxins and dirt out of the mouth in order for you to enjoy a germ-free oral environment. A clean oral cavity is essential for the dental liquid to flow properly and do its magic to prevent disease and the dreaded cavities.

Although relatively new to the western civilization, oil pulling has a long history in India spanning over several centuries. In India, oil pulling has multiple purposes. Incredibly effective, oil pulling is used to heal cracked lips and bleeding gums, cure tooth decay and prevent cavities, improve acne and reduce inflammation, whiten teeth and prevent heart disease, boost the immune system and kill bad breath, and sooth throat dryness and strengthen jaws and gums.

Oil Pulling History and Teeth Whitening

Although many people have a hard time imagining what their life would be without the routine brushing and flossing of teeth, you should contemplate the fact that tooth brushing has not been around since forever. It is not even a century old given that nylon bristle toothbrushes have been first used in the late 1930s. Your ancestors certainly did not brush their teeth, and they haven’t done it for thousands of years! Again, it may be hard to picture that since you have been raised with toothbrushes for as long as you can remember.

Despite not brushing their teeth with toothpaste, archeological evidence shows that ancient people have lived long lives and had most of their teeth intact, strong, and healthy. You have to wonder why their teeth did not rot, especially that did not brush their teeth. Of course, the main factor that allowed them to maintain oral health was eating real food that was clean and did not have phytic acid-filled grains or processed sugars destroying tooth enamel.

What they ate is not the only way that your ancestors maintained healthy and clean oral cavities. They also used a bunch of natural means to take care of their teeth. This includes chewing sticks and rubbing them against teeth, and evidence of that was found in Egyptian tombs, more than 5000 years old. Oil pulling was another natural way to keep teeth clean and strong and it was used successfully in various places throughout the world.

Oil Pulling Research

Many people are familiar today with the concept of oil pulling and many are making this procedure part of their daily routine. This is a reaction to the fact that there is so much talk about oil pulling on the internet bringing it to the attention of more and more people. Although science has only dedicated 7 research studies to report the benefits of oil pulling, it is fascinating to see how research in the field keeps revealing new ways in which this ancient art can basically transform people’s lives. You can also use oil pulling for teeth whitening.

A relevant example is a study that was recently highlighted in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. The Journal places a special emphasis on how oil pulling was discovered to be a holistic natural solution to reduce and prevent tooth loss and decay. “Oil pulling is a powerful detoxifying Ayurvedic technique that has recently become very popular as a CAM remedy for many different health ailments. Using this method, surgery or medication could be prevented for a number of chronic illnesses. The oil therapy is preventative as well as curative. The exciting aspect of this healing method is its simplicity”, This is quite profound considering that it comes from scientists, highly-knowledgeable people who don’t make such statements unless they have proof. Oil pulling is validated for curing more than 30 different system diseases in this study.

Ayurveda advises oil gargling to purify the entire system; as it holds that each section of the tongue is connected to different organ such as to the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine, similarly to reflexology and TCM”, maintain the authors of the study, emphasizing even more the fact that the detoxifying effect of oil pulling is not limited to maintaining oral health. It seems that oil pulling is an excellent solution for those whose ailments partially or totally prevent them from using brushing, including people with fever, mouth ulcer, asthma, indigestion, cough, tendency to vomit, or thirst.

Moreover, there are three different studies that demonstrate the incredible role of sesame seed oil in treating and preventing oral health problems. Due to these extraordinary findings, sesame oil pulling has become a part of many people’s natural health regimen:

  • A study conducted within the Department of Pediatric Dentistry (Tamil Nadu, India) shows that oil pulling is extremely efficient in reducing or eliminating Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium that contributes extensively to tooth decay and found in the saliva and plaque of children. “Oil pulling can be used as an effective preventive adjunct in maintaining and improving oral health”, state the authors of the study.
  • A study conducted by the Department of Pediatric Dentistry (Chennai, India) shows that oil pulling is an effective way to reduce aerobic microorganisms that affect children with plaque-induced gingivitis. The Chennai study also shows the extraordinary effect of oil pulling on reducing the microorganisms that cause bad breath.

Why Coconut Oil is the Best Oil to Use

The research studies mentioned have focused only on sesame seed oil and its excellent effects on overall health. It is understandable since sesame is a staple in India and so many practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine validate the fantastic effects of sesame seed oil pulling. However, you may also look into coconut oil pulling. Take a look the list below that shows the extraordinary benefits of this magic liquor:

  • Balance hormones
  • Maintain adequate blood sugar levels
  • Improved digestion
  • Kill candida
  • Fat burning
  • Cellulite reduction
  • Reduced age spots and wrinkles
  • Skin moisturizing
  • Boost energy levels
  • Improve the effects of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Increase HDL and Lower LDL Cholesterol

Coconut oil gets easily absorbed, which makes it the perfect candidate for experiencing the above mentioned benefits by oil pulling alone.

How-To on Coconut Oil Pulling

There are several things you may want to include in your coconut oil pulling routine:

  1. Make oil pulling the very first thing you do in the morning, before drinking anything or brushing teeth;
  2. You need to gargle 1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for around 10-20 minutes;
  3. You have to make sure you do the swishing gently and do not swallow any oil;
  4. Rinse your mouth with warm water or, even better, with salt water, which brings is antimicrobial;
  5. Make sure you do not spit out the oil in the sink but in the trash to avoid clogging;
  6. In the end, simply brush your teeth as you usually do;
  7. Coconut oil pulling can be done up to four times a week;
  8. Essential oils may be added to this potion as well;

Oil pulling is very simply but the effects are amazing. However, some people may find it difficult to spend 10-20 minutes oil pulling in the morning. As distractions, you may want to do your oil pulling in the shower, in the car on your way to work, or even while doing some work around the house.

Coconut Oil Pulling with Essential Oils

Known for their fantastic anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, essential oils can add even more value to oil pulling. Essential oils are highly absorbable and that means that you will get to enjoy all of their amazing medicinal and antioxidant effects through oil pulling. Coconut oil is also great for natural teeth whitening.

Two ways to use essential oils during morning oil pulling routine

  • Enhance your oil pulling experience by adding to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil three drops of peppermint, lemon, and wild orange essential oils. This potent oils will make your oil pulling experience even more beneficial.
  • When you are sick or you need to fight infection, you can change the above mentioned essential oils with a mixture of tea tree oil, clove oil, and cinnamon oil. This is real homeopathic therapy!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What age is good for oil pulling?

Oil pulling does not cause any harm as long as the oil is not swallowed and is spitted out. Therefore, it can be safely used at an early age in these conditions. However, you should make sure you reduce the quantity of oil to be pulled to less than a tablespoon for children. In the end, this is an experience designed to improve oral health so it should be enjoyable and comfortable. Kids may not like it so do not push them. Instead, find other natural ways to heal their cavities.

  1. Can I pull oil if I have fillings?

The Coconut Research Center states that oil pulling is harmless to properly placed fillings or crowns. However, oil pulling may affect fillings or crowns when the teeth underneath are affected by infection or rot. It is recommended that you keep such an infection under control to make sure that it does not spread to other places in your body.

  1. Why do I have to oil pull in the morning?

You don’t have to do oil pulling in the morning. It is best that you do so but you can also do it some other time during the day, either before or after eating. It is important that you do it when you feel comfortable though.

  1. Why do I have to oil pull for so long?

As you are gargling, your oral cavity absorbs the oil and after about 15 minutes you will feel that the mixture has changed texture dramatically. The oil will no longer feel like oil but it will become almost watery and in some cases, milky. Pulling with less oil or for shorter periods of time will also reduce the effectiveness of the procedure.

  1. How long does it take to see a difference with my teeth and mouth?

It does not take ages to notice good results. A change in breath and a cleaner mouth is observed within a week, while improvement in gum health and dental issues become obvious within a month.

  1. Are there oil pulling side effects or symptoms?

The effects of oil pulling are not the same for everyone. Oil pulling releases sinuses, which may feel uncomfortable to some. It is not a negative thing but a sign that the oil has done its magic and released mucous in the nose or throat thus achieving its purpose of cleaning. It is therefore recommended that you blow your nose before you do oil pulling.

Also, jaw soreness may be a side effect if you are pulling too hard between your teeth. You may try gargling more gently. You may also reduce oil pulling time to half, 8-10 minutes. You can go back to longer pulling time once your jaws have adapted to the exercise.

Another side effect that may be observed in some people is the gag reflex that can be triggered by oil pulling. You can use less oil to reduce gag reflex or you can slightly lean your head forward. Another way to avoid the gag reflex is to warm the oil a little and thus make it thinner.

  1. Can I oil pull while pregnant?

Oil pulling also involves spitting out the toxins from your oral cavity. Therefore, pregnant women should not experience any harm in the process. Considering that many pregnant women have more sensitive gums during this time of their life, oil pulling can even become a soothing solution for teeth cleaning. It doesn’t matter if you’re pregnant. Oil pulling will still work as the best solution to whiten teeth.